, Volume 176, Issue 1, pp 125–147 | Cite as

The medium or the message? Communication relevance and richness in trust games

  • Cristina BicchieriEmail author
  • Azi Lev-On
  • Alex Chavez


Subjects communicated prior to playing trust games; the richness of the communication media and the topics of conversation were manipulated. Communication richness failed to produce significant differences in first-mover investments. However, the topics of conversation made a significant difference: the amounts sent were considerably higher in the unrestricted communication conditions than in the restricted communication and no-communication conditions. Most importantly, we find that first-movers’ expectations of second-movers’ reciprocation are influenced by communication and strongly predict their levels of investment.


Trust Laboratory experiments Communication Social norms Cooperation Computer-mediated communication 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.University of MichiganMichiganUSA

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